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First Impressions: Kanye West, Dua Lipa, MØ And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 09/17/2018

First Impressions is our weekly review feature where our writers get their say on the week’s latest tunes. This week we’re taking a look at everything from Kanye and Lil Pump to Silk City and Dua Lipa.

Silk City – Electricity (Feat. Dua Lipa)

Reece Hooker: Silk City hasn’t gelled as well with me as it has others, but ‘Electricity’ is clicking on all cylinders for me. Dua Lipa meshes so well with this piano-driven dance sound and the cadence of the song has a real vintage feel to it. The chorus feels massive and while it’s no gamechanger, I’ll be grateful for any party host who puts this in the rotation over the summer. 3.5

Jake Daniel: It’s a pop song… Dua’s voice is obviously crisp, as per usual but this just isn’t doing anything for me. It just feels like the label said, “hey, we need a single tomorrow, do your best”. It’s good but nothing groundbreaking.  3.25

Sam Murphy: Calvin Harris and Silk City are giving commercial house yet another resurrection and I’m here for it. This is no gamechanger but it’s a bloody massive pop song with the kind of hyperbolic chorus that delivers just enough cheese. Dua is the perfect vocalist for this and elevates it to a level it wouldn’t have been at with another voice. 4

Kanye West & Lil Pump – I Love It

Reece: I can’t take this song seriously enough to savage, and I can only hope it was intended that way. Lyrically, it’s hardly Austen, but hook is weirdly catchy and at 2:10, the song is short enough to not overstay its very limited welcome. If you come into it with the expectations of hearing a Lil Pump song featuring Kanye West, it’s a fascinating-but-forgettable tune. If you’re expecting the old Kanye… this is a bomb. 2.5

Jake Daniel: Whatever this is supposed to be, or prove, I can’t understand it. I love Kanye, but it’s okay to dislike ‘art’ from people you admire if you think it’s trash. The only good thing about this song is the production, the rest is fucked. I can’t believe music has come to this. 0.1

Sam: There is so much of me that absolutely hates this and then there’s this very small but strong part of me that loves it. We haven’t heard Kanye be this goofy in a very long time and while I’d prefer he stays away from this in the future, it’s been in my head all week. It’s also likely to be one of his biggest songs in a while. 3

MØ – Way Down

Reece: I like the brooding undercurrent on this one. MØ has a lot of great jams that go all out from the beginning, but ‘Way Down’ has a brilliant bit of tact to it. I sometimes feel like these MØ drops start to blur into each other after a while and this one isn’t doing enough to hook me for good, but it’s an easy listen that gets a thumbs up. 3.5

Jake: MØ continues to prove herself as one of the best melodic geniuses on this planet! That paired with her raw yet flawless vocal performances is dynamite. I also love the production on this track. Real refreshing, different, but refreshing. Certified banger! 4.5

Sam: The queen of pop songs with big drops returns once again with an effortlessly addictive bop. I hope there’s a few more sides to her on the full album but I really can’t complain about anything when it comes to Way Down. The production is excellent and she guides it masterfully. 3.5

Amber Mark – Put You On (Feat. DRAM)

Reece: Amber Mark has been on my radar since she singlehandedly turned Chromeo’s limp, cringey Chromeo ‘Just Friends’ into a spritely fun tune with her feature. This uptempo R&B number is dripping with 90’s influence and has huge crossover appeal. There’s a sliver of rasp in Mark’s otherwise-smooth voice that makes it so distinct and pleasant on the ears, and ‘Put You On’ plays to that strength. I love DRAM, but why does he sound like he’s auditioning for Bad Boy Records here? 4

Jake: This is incredible!! It’s so fucking smooooottthhh!!!! Easy listening and a major throwback sound wise. I was real surprised by this track as I hadn’t really heard of Amber Mark before, but damn, she got me hooked. And I’m sure anyone else who listens to this bop will feel the same. 3.25

Sam: Amber Mark is such a class act. She’s yet to put out a bad track and yet she keeps extending her aesthetic with every release. This is probably her most immediate tune to date and DRAM’s feature is authentic rather than a big name grab. It’s not my favourite song from her but it’s a very necessary display of confidence. 3.5

Joey Purp – Elastic

Reece: It’s a good time to be a Chicago rap fan, with records from Saba and Joey Purp in rotation and Chance, Noname and Mick Jenkins still to come. ‘Elastic’ reminds me of a trippier version of Joey’s ‘Girls Like’ from iiiDrops – the sparse bouncing beat slowly works its work way in and builds into a frenzy, with Joey holding control all the way through. This song makes great use of his – ahem – elastic flow and is a solid preview of why QUARTERTHING is on everyone’s playlist right now. 4

Jake: Something like this usually isn’t my cup of tea, but the smart melodic choices and tight production got me here. This was a real treat. 3.5

Sam: My favourite Purp is when he’s rapping over these vibrant, minimal beats and he gives us a healthy selection of those moments on QUARTERTHING. This is such a monumental banger without even trying to be. It sounds good in the headphones, it’s going to sound huge in the clubs and yet it’s still different to everything else around right now. I’m such a fan. 4

AlunaGeorge – Superior Emotion

Reece: Credit to AlunaGeorge for switching it up on this latest release. This one’s a ready-made soundtrack to your miserable Uber ride home from the club. Aluna has a brilliant voice and the production fogs the track up nicely before Cautious Clay punches through clear as day. I’m a sucker for those little juxtapositions, and I love how this track delivers on its potential. 4

Jake: BRRRUUUUHHHH. This is nice, real nice!
Again, this track is so sweet and smooth. Loving the smooth tunes this week. The vocals here are incredible, the production is on another level and just makes you feel like you’re floating whilst eating a maxibon. Anddd the harmonies! This is great! 3.25

Sam: This is a really nice song with some A-grade vocals that’s probably not going to have me returning over and over. I’m a big fan of AlunaGeorge and there’s nothing particularly wrong with this song, it just rolls by too easily. Maybe it’s a grower. I’m open to it. 3.5

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